Sue Kirk MBE


Sue lives in Boston and is proud of being educated at Park Infants’ and Junior Schools, then Kitwood Girls’ School where she was Head Girl.  Commenced work at 15 as a Senior Shorthand Typist in Local Government Public Health, she was promoted to community health management, then  gaining professional qualification, moved into NHS senior management roles at District HQ, then Health Authority HQ and then promoted NHS Associate General Manager onto a Trent Health Authority Crisis Management Team at an Acute Hospital.
A keen interest in education led to long service on 3 Governing Bodies – Kitwood Girls’ School, John Fielding Special School and Gosberton House Special School where Sue was Chairman for 5 years.
Other experience includes being Director/Trustee on the national Board of Macmillan Cancer Support for 16 years, serving 10 years on both the Chartered Society of Physiotherapists’ Regulatory Board and as Director/Trustee on the Board of St Barnabas [Lincolnshire] Hospice.  Sue continues as a long-standing Director of Boston & County Club and a Trustee of Boston Sick Poor Fund.   In 1993, Sue received Boston Borough Council’s ‘Services to the Community Award’; in 2013 Macmillan Cancer Support’s ‘Lifetime Achievement Award’ and in the 2014 New Year’s Honours List, a MBE from HM, The Queen ‘for services to those with cancer’.  Sue is Macmillan’s National Vice-President, National Volunteer Awards’ Panel Chairman, Lincolnshire County Chairman and still works on the Boston Fundraising Committee and 2 Patient Services Teams.  Sue is Churchwarden of St Botolph’s Church.

Christopher Penney


Locally born and educated, after graduating from Trent Polytechnic, Chris has worked in the construction industry in the area for over 30 years. He is now running his own quantity surveying and project management consultancy having retired from the construction business he owned and managed in the 2011. He has been involved in the management of schools as a governor, chairman of governors and a director of an academy trust for 25 years and joined BWAF in 2015 when he became a governor at Wygate Primary Academy. Apart from his voluntary work in the educational sector he is involved in many charities in the Holbeach area, where he lives, and is currently chairman of trustees/directors at the Holbeach and East Elloe Hospital Trust. He is married with two daughters both of whom work in the educational sector.

John McGarel

Vice Chair

John started his teaching career in 1970 at Cardinal Wiseman RC school in Greenford as a teacher of physical education. He took up a number of positions within the senior leadership team of schools before becoming Headteacher of St Bedes RC School, Boston in 1992. In 2000 John moved to a position within the Education Welfare Team at Lincolnshire County Council concentrating on safeguarding and school attendance. John is a governor at St Marys RC School and Haven High Academy. In his spare time he enjoys spending time with his family and cricket, including coaching of junior teams.

David Radford

Before retiring as a Salvation Army Officer, David Radford was a former leader of the Boston Salvation Army with his wife Ann. He has a background in education, is experienced in Safeguarding and is the Chair of Governors at Pioneers Academy. He has been co-opted onto the Board of Directors for this academic year and leads the working party formed following the external review of governance which the Trust commissioned last academic year. He has many interests including a keen love of local history and has recently co-edited a new book entitled  ‘Boston: A Small Town with a Big Story’. David and Ann have two grown up daughters.

Dr Jo Barkham


Dr Jo Barkham lives in Boston. She grew up in South Holland, attending Spalding High School, and then Bristol University, where she read Psychology. She became a teacher of early years/primary children in 1976, with her first post in Peterborough. During the 1980s, she combined her family responsibilities with her work as a supply teacher throughout the South Holland area. She held several fixed term contracts in primaries, secondary and special schools, before returning to full time teaching at The John Harrox primary school in Moulton. In 2000 she became a consultant for the National Literacy Strategy, working with teachers and in schools across the whole of Lincolnshire. These consultancy appointments were annually contracted, and in 2001, she was appointed as a senior lecturer at the University of the West of England in Bristol. Whilst working as a teacher educator, leading a large undergraduate primary programme, she completed a Masters degree and a PhD. Her thesis examined the policy trajectory of the National Literacy Strategy from government to the classroom.
In 2012 she returned to Lincolnshire, appointed to Bishop Grosseteste University to work as a tutor and to develop the university’s partnership. In 2014-15 she served as acting Head of School of Teacher development before her retirement from her substantive post. She continues to work for the university on a part time basis, supervising trainees on school placements. She was approached to become a director of PFoS in 2014, which was later merged into BWAF, at which point she agreed to become a governor at Park Academy and also to serve as a co-opted member on the directors’ standards committee. In January 2021, she was pleased to accept an invitation to join the board of directors for the MAT.
JB 22nd January 2021